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Full Moon Insomnia: Does The Moon Affect Your Sleep?



Full Moon Insomnia: Does The Moon Affect Your Sleep?
Do you feel that your sleep is affected by a full moon? Millions of people claim the same, but scientists haven't found much proof.


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Full Moon Insomnia And Weird Behaviors

Full Moon Insomnia And Weird Behaviors

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, many people believe in the moon's ability to change their behaviour and hold an uncanny power over them.

Hospitals, police stations and emergency phone lines report a big surge of cases on full moon nights, and they all cannot be wrong every time.



Medical Beliefs And Moon Influences

A study published in The World Journal Of Surgery in 2011 explicitly pointed out that more than 40 per cent of medical staff is convinced that the lunar phases affect human behaviour.

This was later ‘debunked’ as subjective, citing a scientific analysis.


The Transylvania Effect

The academic literature in the 90s termed the effect of the lunar cycle on humans and even entire populations as the Transylvania Effect.

This is the belief that the moon produces psychological and physiological disturbances in the body and mind and can also be found in ancient literature.



  • A full moon causes heavy dew in the brain, according to Pliny the Elder, a Roman author, naturist and philosopher. A moist brain then behaves in a ‘lunatic’ manner. The word lunatic, of course, refers to our moon, which is called Luna.
  • Monseoc, another English word for lunatic, literally translates into ‘moon sick.’


Ancient Calendars And Lunar Cycles

Ancient calendars were based on the lunar cycles, with every new moon indicating a new phase.

The ancient agricultural societies had good use of the moon calendar, planning and arranging their crop harvest accordingly.


The Moon And Our Sleep

A 2013 research on a different topic retroactively reanalysed the sleep patterns of participants and combined them with the moon cycle to see if the moon is affecting the sleep pattern. They concluded that the lunar phase does influence human sleep, and works like gravity.

Many studies have continuously debunked the findings of sleep patterns being affected by the moon, but the fact is that the moon exerts a tidal force on water, and can very well have an effect on humans, even though it is not measurable scientifically.



The Science of Sleep

The average adult spends 36 % (or about one-third) of his or her life asleep.

Purpose of Sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Metabolic Health


The first purpose of sleep is restoration.

Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. Sleeping restores the brains healthy condition by removing these waste products. Accumulation of these waste products has been linked to many brain-related disorders.

Memory Consolidation

The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation.

Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is responsible for your long term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can hamper your ability to remember facts and feelings/emotions.

Illusory correlation

An illusory correlation happens when we mistakenly over-emphasize one outcome and ignore the others.

Example: you visit a big city, you have 2 or 3 negative experiences and in the e...

Our selective memory

We tend to overestimate the importance of events we can easily recall and underestimate the importance of events we have trouble recalling. 

The easier it is to remember, the more likely we are to create a strong relationship between two things that are weakly related or not related at all.

Examples of illusory correlations

  • We know about Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg dropping out of college to start a billion-dollar business and we over-value that story in our heads. Meanwhile, we never really hear about all of the college dropouts that fail to start a successful company.
  • We hear about a person from a particular ethnic or racial background getting arrested and we assume all people with that background are more likely to be involved in crime. We don't take into consideration the 99 percent of people who don't get arrested because it is a non-event.

"Given the prevalence of color, one would expect color psychology to be a well-developed area. Surprisingly, little theoretical or empirical work has been conducted to date on color's influence ...

"Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions."

"Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions."

The Psychological Effects of Color

While most perceptions of color are subjective, some color effects have universal meaning. 

  • Colors in the red area of the color spectrum are known as warm colors and include red, orange, and yellow. These warm colors evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility.
  • Colors on the blue side of the spectrum are known as cool colors and include blue, purple, and green. These colors are often described as calm, but can also call to mind feelings of sadness or indifference.